Swimming jellybeans

When serendipity strikes, I try to go with the flow and ride it as long as I can. The latest wave is my batch of Dermasterias larvae, which are developing nicely for the first four days of life. And now they look just like jellybeans!

They have complete guts now and have already grown a bit, measuring 400-430 µm long. It’s not always easy to catch these guys in the right orientation to take a photo, as they are spinning and swimming through three-dimensional space, but I got lucky:

4-day-old dipleurula larva of Dermasterias imbricata. 26 February 2016 © Allison J. Gong

4-day-old dipleurula larva of Dermasterias imbricata.
26 February 2016
© Allison J. Gong

I did try to follow an individual larva as it swam around on a microscope slide. I confined the larvae to a single drop of water under a cover slip so their movements are a bit constrained, but they manage to swim along fairly quickly. The resulting video might be a little nausea-inducing, so don’t click on it if you’re susceptible to motion sickness.

For now I’ve got the larvae divvied up into different feeding treatments. More on that later.

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  1. Pingback: Seeing (wannabe) stars | Notes from a California naturalist

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